In trying to discern the roots of our ethical malaise, Benjamin Wiker proposes that Darwinism merely gave a shot of steroids to an Epicurean materialistic ''acid'' that has been eating away at our sense of purpose or moral significance for over two millennia. Darwin was only the most recent major figure in a diverse lineage that began with Epicurus and continued at critical junctures with Lucretius, William of Occam, Newton and LaPlace, Macchiavelli, Bacon, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. The modern world is at the endpoint of a long -- well, evolution -- of a philosophy that tells us to get what we can, while we can, because this world's all there is. The Christian alternative is becoming as stark and countercultural as it was when it first came into the world. 327 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Abortion. Euthanasia. Infanticide. Sexual promiscuity. Ideas and actions once unthinkable have become commonplace. We seem to live in a different moral universe than we occupied just a few decades ago. Consent and noncoercion seem to be the last vestiges of a morality long left behind. Christian moral tenets are now easily dismissed and have been replaced with what is curiously presented as a superior, more magnanimous, respectful and even humble morality. How did we end up so far away from where we began? Can the decline be stopped? Ben Wiker, in this provocative and insightful book, traces the amazing story that explains our present cultural situation. Wiker finds the roots of our moral slide reaching all the way back to the ethical theory and atheistic cosmology of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Christian teaching had been in contention with this worldview long before it reached its pinnacle with the rise and acceptance of Darwinism. But it was Darwinism, Wiker contends, that provided this ancient teaching with the seemingly modern and scientific basis that captured twentieth-century minds. Wiker demonstrates that this ancient atomistic and materialistic philosophy supplies the guiding force behind Darwinism and powerfully propels the hedonistic bent of our society while promoting itself under the guise of pure science. This book is a challenge not only to those who believe Darwinism to be purely scientific fact but to Christian who have at times inconsistently lived out their Christian moral convictions and so have failed to recognize and address the ancient corrosive underpinnings of our present moral and intellectual crisis.